Height: 5' 9"
Weight: 161 lbs.
Date of Birth: September 2, 1961
Hometown: Santa Marta, Colombia
Last Club: Atletico Junior
How Acquired: Allocation, first Mutiny player
1996 Regular Season... a tremendous year for the 35-year-old midfield maestro they call El Pibe (the Kid)... despite missing nine games with injuries and Colombian World Cup qualifying commitments, scored four goals and 17 assists for 25 points and walked away with league Honda MVP honors... also was named MVP of the July 14 All-Star game at Giants Stadium for assisting on two of the Eastern Conference All-Stars' three goals, including Mutiny teammate Steve Pittman's 88th-minute game-winner in 3-2 victory... earned MLS Player of the Month honors for May... second in the league to D.C. United's Marco Etcheverry in assists and tied Etcheverry for league-high honors in game-winning assists with six... missed four of last five Mutiny regular season games because of recurring hamstring problems, but returned for Sept. 21 regular season finale against New York/New Jersey at Houlihan's Stadium and recorded two assists in 4-1 Tampa Bay win... in only appearance during his injury time, had spectacular two-assist game against D.C. United at Houlihan's Stadium on Sept. 14... recorded 14th assist of season on free kick cross to Steve Ralston in fourth minute and sprung Frankie Hejduk down right sideline for cross that Roy Lassiter converted into second goal of game in 51st minute... was his third two-assist game of season... also had a three-assist game... scored penalty kick goal against Rochester in U.S. Open Cup quarterfinal loss at Rochester on Sept. 7 in first Mutiny appearance since August 25 D.C. United game... captained Colombia to 4-1 World Cup qualifying win over Chile at Baranquilla, Colombia, on Sept. 1, collecting two assists and missing August 31 New England game in Houlihan's Stadium... collected two assists and earned 91st cap in Chile demolition... collected then league-leading 13th assist of season in 3-1 Mutiny win over MetroStars at Houlihan's Stadium on August 17... crossed free kick to far post where Cle Kooiman headed it home... garnered two assists against Colorado in 3-1 Mutiny win at Houlihan's Stadium on August 3... had huge game against Los Angeles at Tampa Stadium on July 27... led comeback 4-3 Mutiny win with penalty kick goals in 73rd and 75th minutes... also had assist on Kooiman's fifth-minute goal, Mutiny's first of game... didn't play at Columbus on July 25, resting hamstring that had caused him to miss two games earlier in season... had brilliant game at Colorado on July 21, picking up assists on first and third Mutiny goals in 3-1 win didn't play against Columbus at Tampa Stadium on July 4 because of World Cup qualifying commitment for Colombia... scored on a header and led team to 3-1 win over Uruguay at Baranquilla... game marked his 90th cap for Colombia... missed three games between June 1 and 8 (Los Angeles, Kansas City and Colorado) because of World Cup qualifying and left hamstring strain incurred in 1-1 World Cup qualifying tie against Peru in Lima on June 2... hamstring injury was the first muscle injury of any kind in his illustrious career... assisted on Martin Vasquez's game-tying goal against Columbus on June 22 and showed the quality that made him MLS Player of the Month for May by making several key passes to set up possible Mutiny goals... garnered assist on second Mutiny goal against Galaxy on June 16, springing Lassiter loose for 46th-minute goal... MLS Player of the Month honors for scoring two goals and four assists, including one game-winning goal and three game-winning assists... assisted on only goal of game in 1-0 May 23 road win at Dallas... assisted on all three Mutiny goals in 3-2 May 18 win over San Jose... broke scoreless tie with powerful 25-yard, right-footed volley of Kansas City clearance, sailing ball into upper right corner in 41st minute of 2-0 Mutiny May 8 win... goal came four days after his first Mutiny and MLS goal, a second half penalty kick in shootout loss to MetroStars... earned his first Mutiny assist in 65th minute with tremendous backheel pass that sprung Steve Pittman open for game-winning goal in April 13 season opener against New England...
1996 playoffs... did not play in Eastern Conference finals opening game at D.C. United on Oct. 10 because of National Team commitments with Colombia... played 90 minutes in Colombia's 1-0 World Cup qualifying win at Ecuador on Oct. 9, returned to Tampa the following day and played until ejected at 81 minute mark of 2-1 season-ending loss to D.C. United at Houlihan's Stadium on Oct. 12... led opening-game win of Eastern Conference semifinals at Columbus on Sept. 25 by showing teammates how important game was... tracked back all day, running like 20-year-old... continued fine play in game two and was rewarded with assist on Lassiter's 26th-minute goal in 2-1 loss... pass had perfect pace on it, leading Lassiter into open space... assisted on Martin Vasquez's first goal of game in third minute of 4-1 Oct. 2 semifinals wrap-up victory over Crew at Houlihan's Stadium... two-time South American Player of the Year and three-time Colombian Player of the Year...
National Team Performance... the reigning captain of Colombia's National Team, Valderrama has one of the most distinguished national team records in world soccer history... has played 94 times for his country... has scored seven goals... scored the second goal in Colombia's 2-0 1990 World Cup opening round win over the United Arab Emirates... has played in the last five Copa Americas, beginning in 1987 when he won Colombian and Outstanding Player of the Year honors from Uruguayan newspaper, El Pais... also named the outstanding player of 1993 Copa America by El Pais...
Club Team Performance... began his club career in 1981 with Union Magdalena of Colombia's Division I... transferred to Millionarios in 1984... went to Deportiva Cali in 1985 and stayed three seasons... in 1988 was transferred to Montpellier of the French First Division for $1.5-million... led Montpellier to 1990 French Cup championship... also led Montpelier to quarterfinals of prestigious UEFA Cup in both 1990 and '91... while at Montpellier, played in consecutive Rest of the World All-Star teams for farewell testimonial matches for Brazilian superstar Zico (1989), French national team star Alan Giresse (1990) and English goalkeeper Peter Shilton (1991)... moved to Spain in 1990 to play for Real Vallodolid... returned to Colombia in 1992 to play for Deportiva Independiente Medellin... moved to Atletico Juniors in 1993 and remained there until joining Mutiny... played for Deportivo Cali of First Division on loan during winter...
Personal... married to Claribeth... couple has three children - Alan (13), Kenni (9) and Carlos (2)... lists Colombian teammate Freddy Rincon as his favorite player... his most memorable moments as a player has been playing in the 1990 and 1994 World Cups... his favorite sport other than soccer is baseball... favorite non-soccer team is the Chicago Bulls... would like to meet Michael Jordan someday... lists reading and being with his family as his hobbies... favorite movie is the Bodyguard... favorite actor is Michael Douglas... favorite actress is Shaina Easton... lists Big Combo as his favorite musical group... favorite food is fish... doesn't like people who tell lies... would like to be a coach someday... full name is Carlos Alberto Valderrama Palacio...